What's Stopping the Super Bowl From Coming Back to South Florida?

Dolphins and Super Bowl Host Committee Optimistic about 2016

By Adam Kuperstein
|  Wednesday, Feb 1, 2012  |  Updated 7:02 PM EDT
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    Nobody has hosted more Super Bowls than South Florida. Ten of the first 45 games were played at either the Orange Bowl or Sun Life Stadium, with the last one, Super Bowl XLIV, coming in 2010.

    However, as of now, the Super Bowl isn't scheduled to come back to South Florida.

    This year's game is in Indianapolis, next year's is in New York, and New Orleans and Phoenix are lined up after that.

    The next Super Bowl up for grabs is in 2016, which is the 50th Super Bowl. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the Miami Dolphins, and the team along with the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee are sending clear signals to the NFL that they want that game.

    "This is football paradise. This is something we have to focus on if we want to continue our role atop the football world," Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said.

    So why wouldn't the NFL want to return to paradise?

    Dee says he's optimistic that South Florida will get a chance to bid on the 2016 game, but stadium renovations are key.

    "Competition for Super Bowls from a venue perspective has never been as fierce as it is today," Dee said, in reference to the brand-new, state-of-the-art stadiums that have been hosting Super Bowls lately.

    Does that mean Sun Life Stadium has to add a roof?

    "The reality is the NFL never said you must have a roof, in fact we're not even contemplating a roof," Dee said. "We're contemplating a canopy, which would cover just the seating areas, the playing field would always stay open to the natural elements."

    Last year, the Dolphins asked for public funding to cover part of the expenses of the canopy and other upgrades to the stadium. That bid went nowhere in the state legislature. Dee says the timing was bad and they'll try again.

    Now that the Marlins are gone, the Dolphins also want to add 3,500 lower bowl seats. Dee says the Dolphins are willing to pay their fair share, but points out that the community benefits far more from hosting Super Bowls than the Dolphins do themselves.

    "If you took the low end of the range of numbers, we're talking about over a billion dollars of economic impact for the last three Super Bowls alone," he said.

    Dee did not specify the cost of the suggested stadium upgrades.

    The NFL will select bidders for the 2016 Super Bowl in the next 6 to 12 months. NFL owners then vote for the winner.

    Dee says Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is fully committed to doing whatever it takes to win that vote.

    "Steve believes delivering Super Bowls is a fundamental part of the obligation of ownership of the Miami Dolphins," he said.

    Dee and Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman Rodney Barreto both think that the NFL would like a commemorative site for the 50th Super Bowl. They say South Florida would fit that bill as the most experienced host in history.

    Barreto also said he expects a recent run of cold-weather Super Bowls to help the Dolphins' chances in 2016.

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